A New Approach for Visualizing UML Class Diagrams

Abstract

UML diagrams have become increasingly important in the engineering and reengineering processes for software systems. Of particular interest are UML class diagrams whose purpose is to display class hierarchies (generalizations), associations, aggregations, and compositions in one picture. The combination of hierarchical and non-hierarchical relations poses a special challenge to a graph layout tool. Existing layout tools treat hierarchical and non-hierarchical relations either alike or as separate tasks in a two-phase process as in, e.g., [Seemann 1997]. We suggest a new approach for visualizing UML class diagrams leading to a balanced mixture of the following aesthetic criteria: Crossing minimization, bend minimization, uniform direction within each class hierarchy, no nesting of one class hierarchy within another, orthogonal layout, merging of multiple inheritance edges, and good edge labelling. We have realized our approach within the graph drawing library GoVisual. Experiments show the superiority to state-of-the-art and industrial standard layouts.

DOI: 10.1145/774833.774859

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@inproceedings{Gutwenger2003ANA, title={A New Approach for Visualizing UML Class Diagrams}, author={Carsten Gutwenger and Michael J{\"{u}nger and Karsten Klein and Joachim Kupke and Sebastian Leipert and Petra Mutzel}, booktitle={SOFTVIS}, year={2003} }